My Favorite "Ave Marias"
If there is one artist's depiction that stands out regarding the nature of the relationship between Jesus and His Mother Mary, it is the "Pieta" by Michelangelo, shown here. The original sculpture is enshrined at the Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Mary holding the dead Body of Jesus after being taken down from the cross is only one of the many sorrows of Mary foretold by the prophet Simeon at the Presentation of Jesus in the temple:
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” Lk 22:34-35
The other swords that pierced Mary's heart are:
The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-
It is Mary who loved Jesus most and Jesus Who loved Mary most. That love is not limited by space and time.
From the apostles down to the centuries, Mary occupied a special place in the hearts of many people, the saints and in the Universal Church. The "Hail Mary," whose words are also in Holy Scriptures, was set to music by many great composers, is sung by well known sopranos and tenors and church choirs. It is still being put to music by composers some of whom we know and have met.
Next to the "Our Father" and the "Glory Be," the Ave Maria compositions and music do not fail to touch the hearts of people and bring them closer to the God of All Creation and the Savior of the World.
Where I now reside, there is the grand basilica dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, where icons of our Lady from many parts of the world: America, Europe, Africa and Asia have been placed there by people who love Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
In Mary's National Shrine in Washington, D.C. , my old home country is represented by Our Lady of Antipolo, also called "Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage." There are many Philippine icons of Our Lady who manifested her presence in many parts of the islands and is venerated under different names. No wonder the Philippines is given the name "Pueblo Amante de Maria" (A People in Love with Mary).
Here I have posted some of my favorite Ave Maria songs. May you be blessed listening to them, praying with them, and getting closer to Jesus through them.
If you feel a special tenderness in your heart for Mary, don't be surprised. Our Lord Jesus has much more special tenderness for her. We are just being like Jesus.
She is His mom. And He gave her to us as our mom, too!#
And this is a Marian song that never fails to touch me when we do the Our Lady of Perpetual Help novena at St. Columba. The lyrics are very beautiful.